Make Guests Jealous of Your Bar Cart Skills

Bar carts have become a staple in the apartments and homes of most 20/30 somethings. We may not have dishwashers but god help us if we don’t have beautifully curated bar carts. They are great focal points in a room and can also show guests a bit about you. Regardless of the design, every bar cart should be personal, functional, and balanced.

Here are my tips for setting up a great bar cart.

Step 1: Buy your booze. You should have something for everyone (vodka, tequila, rum, whisky, gin, and wine). Also throw in some oddballs like bison grass vodka to offer guests something new. Champagne and white wine should also be on hand but should always stay in the fridge, not on your cart.

Step 2: Place all bottles on one half of the cart. Be sure to leave at least 4 inches in the front as “counter space” for pouring/mixing drinks.

Step 3: If you can, try to stick to the rule of 3 to decorate the other side of the cart. 1 large, 1 medium, and one small piece grouped together helps balance the space.  I like lamps as the large piece but you can also use a vase with flowers or pheasant feathers (bro-hunter-cabin-chic element) to give the cart some height.

Step 4: Stack 4-5 coffee table books on the bottom shelf and top with a visual element like a brass urchin or a functional piece like a crystal/silver bowl to hold lemon and limes.

Step 5: Store 4 high ball glasses, and 4 old fashion glasses on the bottom shelf and 4-6 wine glasses on the bottom shelf. Some carts have slots for wine glasses which helps avoid crowding. All other glasses (champagne, martini and one-off glasses from an office Secret Santa you never use) in a cabinet. You can get those as needed but stick to these first.

Using any of the below items will instantly broadcast to your guests, “I have no idea what I’m doing” or worse, “I just copied this from Pinterest.” Don’t store these on your cart-you’re better than that.

  • a glass filled with striped paper straws
  • a spiraled stack of novelty napkins
  • any of the bartender handbooks (keep those in a bookcase as a reference but you should know how to make basic cocktails. If not, why do you own a bar cart?)
  • cans of Diet Coke or Perrier. Put those in the fridge where they belong. Who would ever ask for room temperature Diet Coke. Come on people let’s use those college degrees we are still paying off student loans for.

All you need now is an excuse to use it. Who am I kidding you survived another day at work. Go order a pizza and pour yourself a drink!




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